Highland Park, News

Affordable housing units on Deerfield Road get council approval

The city of Highland Park wants to maximize residential space on Deerfield Road.

Councilmembers unanimously approved a development agreement on Monday, Aug. 22, to construct affordable townhomes on Deerfield Road.

The eight-unit complex will replace three single-family homes at 925, 929 and 937 Deerfield Road, according to the meeting agenda packet. The construction timeline is not clear. 

Community Partners for Affordable Housing, an affordable-housing developer in Chicagoland, owns the properties and plans to construct the permanently affordable townhomes in an effort to “continue assisting future generations of low- to moderate-income homebuyers and tenants,” according to their statement from July 27, 2022.

Each unit is 1,475 square feet with three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a half bathroom. According to the agenda packet, “All eight affordable townhomes will be sold, four of those will be sold to households earning less than 80% (area median income), and the other four will be sold to households earning less than 120% AMI.”

Views from each side of the planned development.

Councilmember Annette Lidawer expressed concerns Monday regarding the lack of guest parking at the development. She explained that the housing commission reduced the guest parking at the townhouses from eight guest spaces to four in the initial planning process. 

This means that each townhouse would have two parking spaces with an additional four spaces to serve the complex.

“While that is within the legal limits, I know we really go that extra mile for any type of inclusive housing to make sure that everything is the same,” Lidawer said. “It’s just a bit of a flaw in the actual housing that when someone has a visitor to their home, they might not have space for them.”

Lidawer said that visitors may have to use street parking, especially on the weekends when the four extra spaces are more likely to be occupied.

According to Joel Fontaine, director of community development, there is no guest parking space requirement for affordable housing units; however, he still thinks it is important to have guest parking available. 

“Given that this is all affordable, and that it’s such a tight property on which it’s built, it seems like this is a reasonable number of guest parking spaces to include,” Councilmember Kim Stone said.

Stone also praised the building for being all electric, using LED lights and heat pumps. She said the building’s energy efficiency will contribute to its affordability.

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Rosie Newmark

Rosie Newmark is a 2023 Record intern and an incoming senior studying journalism and history at Northwestern University. Rosie has written for multiple campus publications in addition to the Hyde Park Herald and American Libraries Magazine.

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